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In Vain “Solemn” Album Review by Jorge Pozo

In Vain Band Members 2

Norway’s prodigious metal artisans In Vain have long stood as paragons of the progressive metal scene, melding intricate musicality with aggressive undertones. Their latest offering, “Solemn”, continues this trajectory, weaving an opulent tapestry of sound that challenges the paradigms of genre and composition. This album not only encapsulates their two decades of evolution but also heralds a new era of their sonic legacy.

From the get-go, “Shadows Flap Their Black Wings” sets a high bar. It launches with a visceral onslaught of guitar riffs and formidable vocals that meld into an intricate dance of melody and mayhem. This track sets a narrative tone, suggesting a journey not just through a musical landscape, but through the shadowy depths of the soul.

“To the Gallows” intensifies the album’s early aggressive stance. The track is a maelstrom of guttural screams and melodic interludes, highlighting In Vain‘s unique ability to balance filth and beauty—a duality that captivates throughout the album’s progression. The transition into “Season of Unrest” is seamless, with its slower, bass-heavy rumbles juxtaposed against the stormy, complex layers of lead guitar and vocals.

Mid-album, “At the Going Down of the Sun” and “Where the Winds Meet” present a masterclass in dynamic contrast. The former track is a symphonic ensemble, richly layered yet tightly controlled, which explodes into climactic choruses that are both haunting and uplifting. The latter track, on the other hand, ventures into a rawer narrative, its aggressive riffs crashing against shores of melodic breakdowns, showcasing In Vain‘s formidable range and depth.

“Beyond the Pale” offers a brutal reflection of the band’s heavier aspects with its relentless pace and towering vocals, while “Blood Makes the Grass Grow” provides a moment of clarity with its poignant harmonies and succinct, powerful execution. “Eternal Waves” follows as a transcendent musical experience, with undulating tempos and a crescendo that feels like a spiritual awakening.

The album closes with “Watch for Me on the Mountain”, an epic finale that combines the thematic elements of the previous tracks into a singular, powerful statement. This track is not just the end, but a culmination of In Vain‘s journey through the dark and the light, the harsh and the harmonic.

Production-wise, Jens Bogren’s influence cannot be overstated. His meticulous crafting of soundscapes that fully realize the band’s musical visions adds a layer of polished, profound audio clarity that is rare in such a complex album.

“Solemn” is not merely a collection of songs, but a holistic narrative that demands to be heard in one breath. The technical proficiency of drummer Tobias shines brilliantly across the album, providing a backbone to the lush string arrangements and the robust, versatile vocals of Sindre.

“Solemn” by In Vain rates a strong 9 out of 10. It is a bold, beautiful, and sometimes brutal journey through the landscapes of progressive metal. This album doesn’t just resonate; it reverberates through the core of what modern metal strives to be—innovative, introspective, and utterly immersive.

Get your copy: https://shop.indierecordings.no/products/in-vain-solemn-cd-digipack

IN VAIN album

Track-listing:

  1. Shadows Flap Their Black Wings
  2. To the Gallows
  3. Season of Unrest
  4. At the Going Down of the Sun
  5. Where the Winds Meet
  6. Beyond the Pale
  7. Blood Makes the Grass Grow
  8. Eternal Waves
  9. Watch for Me on the Mountain

In Vain:
Johnar Håland – Guitar
Kjetil D. Pedersen – Guitar
Sindre Nedland – Vocals
Andreas Frigstad – Vocals
Alexander Bøe – Bass
Tobias Øymo Solbakk – Drums

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